How it is to be part of an indigenous community?

My name is Corey Grech. I am a descendent of the Gamillarroy nation of Central NSW Australia born as an Australian Aboriginal, and I grew up juggling the responsibilities living in two worlds (Gamillarroy/Australian). My country has an interesting history and culture. I am part of the oldest living continuing culture in the world that is 65,000 years old!!

I have recently moved to The Entrance North, NSW, Australia. But originally, I grew up in the city of Sydney. My indigenous background contributed positively to who I am and why I am here on Earth... i.e. we don’t own the land, we look after it. However, it also showed me some challenges, for example Racism and the loss of culture let me think about the 17-year life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Another example: before 1967, when we were not as Australian citizins and had no accessibility to food, and general human necessities were taken away or not offered in the first place during that time.

That’s why I like to work for Kool Purple Kookas. There I work as a CEO. Kool Purple Kookas is a social enterprise that educates young Indigenous people about reclaiming wild food knowledge and restoring healthy food choices. As a chef and educator I teach children about the ancient food of my people and the value of having good health and mental wellbeing. I help to harness the knowledge of my elders to reclaim the knowledge and wisdom to share with young people, and I develop programs that engage corporate social enterprise to assist food education in my community.

I am looking forward to joining in the four-day program of Terra Madre Giovani – We Feed The Planet. I am there to share traditional foods of my people and my country with other indigenous and non-indigenous young people, and I am eager to meet other indigenous young famers, chefs and educators and to learn from what they are doing in their communities to assist the reconnection with traditional foods to feed their people! This event will serve as a conduit for me to impart the knowledge gained during the event back home in my community to establish further innovation and implementation.

Hope to meet you there,

Corey Grech, Australia